24 October 2005

An incredible October day!

After many grey days, today we had an incredible Indian Summer day. October usually has the most rain and then November is when Indian Summer hits here in the South of France. I went down to La Grande Motte to the beach first to sit by the sea and read and take a walk. Then I took Jazzy for a long walk in the countryside of Sussargues. These are the pictures from the day. As I forgot my camera for the beach, I brought back a sampling of seashells from the beach to show you.

The last picture is the church in the town of St. Drezery which is just up the road from us. Jazzy and I have discovered a country road that leads straight through the vineyards from Sussargues to St Drez (for Mike's information). There are a lot of country roads right behind our street with absolutely no cars...only foot or bikes.

21 October 2005

Almost finished!

Here is an almost "after" picture of the kitchen. I have a bit of touch up painting and the sink awaits Mike's return next week for installation. It looks quite different from the kitchen we demolished (see October 15th post for pictures to refresh your memory) I have to say it has been quite the workout for my arms and shoulders!

20 October 2005

Off they go!

The longest worm I have ever seen! The
kids found it by the car tonight!

Celia and Becky(on left) and Amy (on right) our fellow Sussargoise (they live in our village and go to Celia's school. Ryan (a New Yorker) and Nathan.

So I just put Celia and Nathan on a very cozy bus full of 50 some odd children and a few teachers for an all night bus ride to the Loire Valley for four days. They are off to Chambord, Blois, Chenonceau et Azay le Rideau as well as Parc Mini Chateaux (That is the French name for it!) and Futuroscope ( I have no clue what this attraction is, but I believe it is like a science museum) They left at 10.30 PM this night and return at 11 PM on Monday night. Luckily they are off until November 3 or 4th for All Saints Holiday and can recouperate!

They were all very mixed in emotions...lots of hugs and kisses and "I'll MISS YOUs!" But in the end, they were all so excited. A great experience!

19 October 2005


Today Celia and her friends - Amy and Becky - walked to the little Tabac shop in Sussargues to buy some candy for the road trip they are taking to see the Loire Valley Chateaux...a little four day field trip with school to see four castles...oops I am off on a tangent! Anyway...Amy has a beautiful little ritual of bringing the owner of the Tabac a present each time she goes there...a flower, a bit of ribbon, a picture. She says he offers the town things and therefore we should offer something to him...she is a real treat! He is so sweet and displays each one proudly. Today's gift from Celia and Amy was French song that they have been learning in school. Their beautiful little voices lilting in French was incredible. Not only did Monsieur and his wife listen attentively, all of his customers that were coming to get their daily paper or nicotine fix stopped and listened quietly and patiently. It was quite the scene that will play in my head and heart for quite a while. Everyone applauded and then told them how wonderful a gift that was. I was very touched and proud of them both.

18 October 2005

Wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper!

Here is the collage of my nemesis in this refreshing project...namely all of the various wallpapers in the old section of the house. The ultimate challenge was the "wallpaper" on the top left corner. It is truly a carpet on the walls that has not been vacuumed since it was put up twenty some years ago...yes, that is seriously gross! It is all now located at the dump and we have a real shabby chic look going here. White bare plaster walls or - in the case of the formerly carpeted walls - partially removed paper backing that is rubber cemented to the wall that must be sanded off. Have no fear...have paint brush, will refresh!

It has actually been somewhat therapeutic. The house and I have become very understanding of each others strengths and foibles through this process. There is a bond that is created when you put your hands on your house and help it to come forward...in the case of the carpeted walls, it seemed to be a forced march forward. We are both making progress in our mutual transformation. It only gets better with each passing day!

16 October 2005

Amusing remodel pictures

Celia is the only one brave enough to have tried the pool. No surprise as she is the ultimate water bug!

Is that Père Noel on a test run or Mike with his head up the vent?

And now for the latest from the Paris runways...the newest in painting attire!

A Sunday walk with Joseph

A walk in the country...this is the countryside at the end of our small road.

We decided to take a walk this Sunday morning in place of an hour in the local church. Celia and Nathan decided they felt closer to God walking outside rather than forced to sit in church. We brought a prayer book and a Cursillo song book to create our service. God decided that we needed to commune with our French neighbor, Joseph, who we met on the path with his dog Leo. God had the better plan!

Joseph introduced us to the various paths available through the vineyards, the horses that lived there, the edible snacks along the way...prunelles - small slightly sour fruit on a holly like tree, grapes from the local vines, fennel, wild blackberries and juniper berries. A veritable feast! Leo (named for his early meals of milk and water...lait et l'eau) and Jazzy finally became fast and furious friends. Joseph noted that Leo adores Jazzy...Leo would not take his eyes off of Jazzy for a moment!

The hunters were out in full force in the vines hunting a very small bird. We met one that showed us his kill. Neither Joseph nor I had much of a liking for it. The butcher provides a better meal!

Joseph introduced us to a few of the locals that were out and about in the vines this morning. I admired that he introduced us as his new neighbors across the street without any mention of our foreign status. This is very different as it seems to be considered a true state of being rather than a circumstance of birth. He is a very big hearted down to earth person that we are very fortunate to have as a neighbor!

15 October 2005

8 Rue de L'Aspic

The yard and porches that wrap around two sides of the house are so nice! We anticipate many warm days and evenings passing time outside.

AND THEN THERE IS THAT KITCHEN! Well there WAS that kitchen! It no longer exists in this form thanks to Mike's tenacity with a sledge hammer and Mary's paint brush.

Celia's favorite part of the house...the POOL! This will be so fun! Too bad we moved in after the warmest days. Oh well...as you can see, we have our work cut out for us and it would just be diverting if it was warm and there was that pool calling us!

11 October 2005

Hello Again!

I cannot believe it has almost been a month since we last updated the blog! This was due to the move to our new home in Sussargues. As with most things...if you change anything, it won't work and it will take you an inordinate amount of time to figure out why. We never did figure out the why, but this afternoon I greeted Mike with a shriek when I saw that the incessantly blinking red light was now fixed...meaning we once more had internet! Small celebrations!

Mike is now off to California for a short time. I am trying to muster up the motivation to hit the DIY lane once more. After the initial push to get all we could changed in the house, I find no motivation. Once I put the brush to the bucket, I am sure the same old obsessiveness will return.